Pskov dialects are transitional between Belarusian and Russian, so this makes me think that <г> was pronounced as /ɣ/, but I have also read that Old Novgorodian has had an impact on Northern Russian dialects, which of course pronounce <г> as /ɡ/. I didn't find anything about this in Zalizniak's treatise, unfortunately. Perhaps there was even a divide between the north and south of the Novgorod Republic in regards to pronunciation. I'm not sure at all.

Does anyone have any idea how, for example, the name of новъгород itself was actually pronounced? Thank you very much.


1 Answer 1


Old Novgorodian <г> was plosive [g], and Zaliznyak in his treatise explicitly states it, this feature cannot be avoided to be mentioned, especially in such a fundamental work as Zaliznyak’s.

The Sources section of the Wikipedia page on Old Novgorodian links to the full text of the improved and expanded second edition of the treatise. Here it is, Zaliznyak, Andrey Anatolyevich (2004), Древненовгородский диалект [Old Novgorodian dialects] (in Russian), Moscow: Языки славянской культуры, ISBN 5-94457-165-9, chapter 2, page 39:

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Взрывное [g]
§ 2.4. Во всей др.-новг. зоне сохраняется исконное взрывное [g] — как и на северо-востоке неновгородской части вост.-слав. зоны. Ср. фрикативное [ɣ] на юге.

Plosive [g]
§ 2.4. In all of the Old Novgorodian zone, the original plosive [g] is retained — just as in the North-East of the non-Novgorodian part of the East Slavic zone. Cf. fricative [ɣ] in the South.

This paragraph is found in the section entitled “Features which differ all the Old Novgorodian cluster of dialects from the dialect of South Rus” in chapter 2 named “A short review of the historical phonetics”.

  • 1
    Thank you so, so much! It's right there - I totally missed it! Jul 27, 2022 at 20:23

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